EU Court of Auditors delivers negative verdict on Commission's farming proposals

FOUR PAWS shares the criticism of the Court of Auditors and pushes for better animal welfare.


The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has delivered a critical verdict on the Commission's legislative proposals on the reform of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from 2020 onwards, putting the focus on environmental and climate objectives and on performance.

The published report sees no vision for a long-term Common Agricultural Policy and underlines the insufficient elaboration of clear measurables for achieving sustainable agriculture and guaranteeing that the common EU goals are achieved. Also, the proposed system complicates or prevents effective controls. The distribution of resources makes it more difficult for the Member States to achieve the defined objectives. It also remains uncertain how the implementation of appropriate measures to achieve the objectives is to be ensured by the Member States. 

The policy will continue to be based on direct payments to farmers, based on the size of the farm, which does not take environmental issues into consideration. According to the EU Court of Auditors, this does not represent the most economical way of ensuring decent incomes for farmers.

"The proposal has missed an opportunity to make European agricultural policy more sustainable and animal-friendly for the future. It is now important that further improvements are achieved in the negotiations between the Commission, Parliament and the Council. The European Union and its member states must assume their responsibilities and advocate a better animal-friendly policy for the benefit of consumers."

Pierre Sultana, Director of the FOUR PAWS European Policy Office

It is important to underline that agriculture remains a policy area that consumes a large part of the EU's budget. The EU Commission plans to provide € 365 billion in funding for agriculture and rural areas in the years 2021 to 2027, which represents approximately 28.5 % of the overall budget for that period. The political direction for the years to come is crucial, as it will point the way for animal welfare, fair income for farmers, climate and environmental protection and food quality.

FOUR PAWS believes that the promotion of animal-friendly and sustainable agriculture must become a priority for the Common Agricultural Policy, and expresses concern about the CAP proposal, urging the EU Commission, EU Parliament and the Council of the European Union to include better animal welfare and environmental provisions during the next trialogue negotiations.

Andreas Manz

EU Farm Animal Policy Coordinator

+32 2 74 00 888

Rue Ducale 29, 1000 Brussels

FOUR PAWS - Animal Welfare ASBL

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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